Bertha Kalm Scholarship Recipients 2019-2020

We asked these remarkable students, “What defines your passion to make a difference?”

Recipient Response

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Kristen Constanza

Applied Anthropology

"I love helping people. I’ve always had a passion to lend a hand out. Helping immigrants and refugees brings so much joy to me. I want to give them a voice and I want them to be heard. I want to have a broader impact that can directly improve the lives of migrants by shifting public attitudes. La lucha sigue! Siempre con ustedes!"

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Flor Gomez

Chicana and Chicano Studies

"My passion to make a difference in local and global academic communities stems from my experiences while working with students who are at intersectional disadvantages in our higher educational systems via the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Educational Talent Search (ETS) and Upward Bound (UB). Having experienced mentoring through the lens of a mentee, a mentor and a researcher I see the imperative need of mentoring programs aimed at helping first-generation, low-income students of color succeed in academia. The need for more culturally grounded, relevant, and responsive solutions to prevailing issues of the Chicanx/Latinx communities in academia is the fire that ignites my passion for social change. I hope to use my Mexican-American Master's degree to enter the California State University educational system armed with the knowledge necessary to make a change in Chicanx/Latinx students’ lives through better culturally grounded educational policies, pedagogy, mentoring and advising."

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Jared Jew

Communicative Sciences and Disorders

"My passion to make a difference is defined by my love for this world and my hope that future generations will not have to struggle through the hardships that I faced alone. I acknowledge that hardship catalyzes growth and shaped me into who I am today, but I believe creating a safe environment for growth from failure through supported exploration can create the same effect without leaving individuals emotionally damaged. My hope as a future professional is to inspire compassion for others through the support I offer those I work with in the hopes that they will do the same for others in their lives. If I am able to successfully ease the struggles someone faces in their life at that given point of time, then I will know I have done my job."

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Rebecca Lucky

Public Administration

"What defines my passion for the environment (particularly the ocean) is knowing that we are deeply connected to every aspect of this complex and diverse planet, and each day and each year we come closer to proving how deep the connections are through better data and study. I see my role as using this data to help our culture understand and embrace changes through new laws, policies, or programs that will create better interactions with our environment. It is only fair that we become respectful stewards of the very environment that provides us with water, plentiful food, oxygen, and beautiful landscapes and adventures that is not only available for us thrive on but for future generations, and that we maintain a level of equity not only with our own species but with others that occupy this planet."

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Danielle Patenaude


"I am motivated everyday by the students I work with to find new ways to elevate their learning and help them make their voices heard in a system that does not always value the full picture of who they are as multilingual learners. I believe strongly in democratic, student-centered education, and my desire to provide access to that type of learning experience for students is behind my drive to continue research and pursue further education in the LACES Masters program at SJSU. I am lucky to be surrounded by incredible examples of motivated and hardworking educators in this program and at my school that help support my pursuit of more equitable practices for our students."

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Amy Young


"Through my courses of study last semester, I conducted research into the psychological and physiological effects of group singing, as well as how music can serve as a vehicle to break down barriers between diverse groups and create dialogue about peace and understanding, creating deeper connections between people and magnifying the effects of group singing. It is my ultimate goal to combine this research on group singing with the field of individual music therapy techniques to create a “group therapy” technique centered around group singing. My hopes are to foster group therapy programs in places they are needed most, such as homeless shelters, prisons, youth centers, psychiatric facilities, group homes, and underprivileged schools - environments where people often feel disconnected from others and society. I plan to develop strategies and techniques for successful growth musically and socially, using choir as common ground for all participants regardless of background."